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Three Germans arrested in central Mali

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The army announced the arrest of three Europeans in the center of the country in a press release published on the night of April 12-13, 2022. No official details on their nationality or profile, but they were arrested last Sunday in connection with an anti-terror operation near Diabaly, in the Segou region. A sector where the Katiba Macina jihadists have a strong presence. The Malian authorities have not communicated further about this surprising arrest.

The Fama Detachment of Diabaly proceeded to arrest five suspects, including three European nationals, on 10 April† According to the Malian army, these arrests were made as part of the anti-terrorist operation “Maliko”. Nothing more, but we understand that the Malian soldiers suspect these three Europeans of being jihadist fighters themselves.

Agricultural project as part of twinning

In fact, from diplomatic and security sources, it is three Germans, two men and a woman, who were in the area on an agricultural project as part of a twinning arrangement between a German municipality and a Malian municipality. They were transferred to Bamako” for their safety ”, indicates the diplomatic source, who does not indicate whether they are still being held and questioned or whether they have been released.

Coincidence of the calendar? The German foreign minister has been visiting Mali since Tuesday. At the request of RFI, the German embassy in Mali has not responded at this stage.

A surprising presence

The presence of these three Germans as part of a clutch is surprising. Twinning between Malian and European communities – cities, departments, regions – are numerous, but of course, due to the security context, exchanges have been very limited for years. Development projects are still underway, also financing, but the physical missions of European nationals, a fortiori in areas visited by jihadists were almost systematically suspended.

The presence of these three Germans at Diabaly, where terrorist attacks take place almost daily and where the Malian army and its Russian auxiliary forces are accused of executing and setting fire to some 30 civilians last month, therefore raises questions. † Some people think they are indispensable and are not aware of the danger “, for his part, judged a European diplomat.

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